5 Immune-Boosting Benefits of turkey tail mushroom capsules
turkey tail mushroom capsules is a medicinal mushroom that’s full of antioxidants and other compounds. Evidence shows it may help fortify your immune system, maintain healthy gut bacteria, and support the treatment of some cancers.
Medicinal mushrooms are types of fungi that contain compounds known to benefit health.
While there is an abundance of mushrooms with medicinal properties, one of the most well-known is Trametes versicolor, also known as Coriolus versicolor.
Commonly called turkey tail mushroom capsules due to its striking colors, Trametes versicolor has been used around the world for centuries to treat various conditions.
Perhaps the most impressive quality of the turkey tail mushroom is its ability to enhance the health of your immune system.
Here are 5 immune-boosting benefits of the turkey tail mushroom.
1. Packed with antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help inhibit or reduce damage caused by oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules known as free radicals. This can result in cellular damage and chronic inflammation (1Trusted Source).
Thankfully, eating foods rich in antioxidants or supplementing with these powerful compounds can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
Turkey tail contains an impressive array of antioxidants, including phenols and flavonoids (4Trusted Source).
In fact, one study detected over 35 different phenolic compounds in a sample of turkey tail mushroom extract, along with the flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and baicalein (5Trusted Source).
Phenol and flavonoid antioxidants promote immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds (6Trusted Source).
For example, quercetin has been shown to promote the release of immunoprotective proteins like interferon-y, while inhibiting the release of the pro-inflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) (7Trusted Source).
Turkey tail contains a wide variety of phenol and flavonoid antioxidants which help promote your immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds.
2. Contains Immune-boosting polysaccharopeptides
turkey tail mushroom capsules also contains polysaccharopeptides, which are protein-bound polysaccharides (carbohydrates).
Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) are two types of polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tails (8Trusted Source).
They promote immune response by both activating and inhibiting specific types of immune cells and by suppressing inflammation.
For instance, test-tube studies have demonstrated that PSP increases monocytes, which are types of white blood cells that fight infection and boost immunity (9Trusted Source).
PSK stimulates dendritic cells, which promote immunity to toxins, and regulate the immune response. In addition, PSK activates natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that helps protect against pathogens and cancerous tumors (10Trusted Source).
Due to their ability to naturally strengthen the immune system, PSP and PSK are commonly used as anticancer agents in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these treatments in countries like Japan and China (11Trusted Source).
3. Supports Gut Health
Turkey tail may improve gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria that support healthy digestion. Turkey tail acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the development of “good” bacteria in the gut microbiome. Having a healthy, balanced gut microbiome is linked to improved digestive health, a strong immune system, and a lower risk of gastrointestinal disorders and diseases.
In one small study, participants were given 3,600 milligrams (mg) of turkey tail PSP extract per day over eight weeks. Results showed that turkey tail extract increased the number of beneficial bacteria and suppressed the growth of potentially harmful bacteria.10
An earlier test-tube study found that turkey tail extract significantly increased the number of helpful bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, while reducing populations of “bad” bacteria, such as Clostridium and Enterococcus.11
4.May Boost Athletic Performance
turkey tail mushroom capsules may boost stamina and fight fatigue to enhance athletic performance. A study using animal models found that turkey tail extract increased endurance and strength in mice. Moreover, the extract reduced physical fatigue in the mice and lowered blood sugar levels at rest and after exercise.12
Human trials are needed to determine what benefits turkey tail may offer athletes regarding endurance, strength, energy levels, and recovery.
PSPs are powerful polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tail mushrooms that may strengthen the health of your immune system.
5. May improve immune function in people with certain cancers
Research has demonstrated that turkey tail mushroom capsules may have antitumor properties, thought to be related to its immune-boosting effects.
One test-tube study found that PSK, the polysaccharopeptide found in turkey tail mushrooms, inhibited the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells (12Trusted Source).
What’s more, a certain type of polysaccharide found in turkey tail called Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG) may suppress certain tumors.A study in tumor-bearing mice found that treatment with 45.5 and 90.9 milligrams (mg) per pound or 100 and 200 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight of CVG extracted from turkey tail mushrooms daily significantly reduced tumor size (13Trusted Source).
Researchers attributed this development to enhanced immune response (13Trusted Source).
A systematic review and meta-analysis also found that PSK from turkey tail may improve survival rates in people with colorectal or intestinal cancer, especially when combined with chemotherapy (14Trusted Source). That said, some studies have shown inconclusive results (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
turkey tail mushroom capsules contain components such as PSK and CVG that may suppress the growth of certain types of cancers.
6. May enhance gut health
Keeping a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut is critical for maintaining a strong immune system.
Your gut bacteria interact with immune cells and directly impact your immune response (18Trusted Source).
turkey tail mushroom capsules contains prebiotics, which help nourish these helpful bacteria. Research studies have found that treatment with turkey tail can have a similarly positive effect on the gut microbiome as treatment with prebiotic supplements.
For example, a test-tube study found that turkey tail extract modified gut bacteria composition by increasing populations of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus while reducing potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium and Staphylococcus (20Trusted Source).
Having healthy levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria has been linked to improved intestinal symptoms like diarrhea, enhanced immune system, reduced cholesterol levels, lower risks of certain cancers, and improved digestion (21Trusted Source).
Turkey tail mushroom may positively impact gut bacterial balance by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria while suppressing harmful species.
In addition to the health benefits listed above, some people use turkey tail mushroom capsules to support:
- Bone health: Animal model research found that turkey tail extract resulted in thicker, less porous bones and may protect against bone loss related to certain cancer treatments.
- Cognitive function: Turkey tail is rich in antioxidants, which may improve cognitive function (e.g., memory, problem-solving) and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
- Healthy aging: The antioxidants and immune-boosting properties of turkey tail may help support health and protect against inflammation and age-related diseases.
- Balanced blood sugar levels: Studies using animal models show that turkey tail extracts may reduce blood sugar levels, improve insulin resistance, and prevent diabetes-related complications in people with type 2 diabetes.